Friday, January 27, 2006

Darwin and geology

Via Butterflies and Wheels, here are two review essays on Sandra Herbert's book, Charles Darwin, Geologist. One in the Times Literary Supplement, the other in American Scientist. Much of the recent debates about Darwin and evolution focus on biological elements. This book on geology and evolution is a nice addition.

Beyond geology itself, it's worth noting that plate tectonics, the theory of the Earth's plate movements, is entirely dependent on evolutionary theory as well. Plate tectonics as a theory and course of scientific study is only about 40 or so years old, pieced together by scientists from around the world all of whom were working within the framework of the fundamental tenets of evolution. See this fascinating account. It's worth remembering that not only would modern biology not exist without Darwin, neither would most of the physical sciences.

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